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A 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth arriving at Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Philip Mountbatten.

[Photo: Getty]

Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress: Facts, figures and photos

It’s fair to say that the dress Queen Elizabeth II wore for her wedding to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, 70 years ago today, is truly iconic.

With its scalloped hem, intricate embroidery and 13ft train, it remains as breathtaking today as it did on its debut in front of 2,000 guests in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947.  Just as timeless and impactful as you would expect a real life princess’ bridal gown to be.

It was a labour of love. Designed by royal couturier Sir Norman Hartnell, the ivory dress took Hartnell and his team of 350 seamstresses weeks to create.

The finished design was made from Chinese silk, boasted a heart-shaped neckline, fitted bodice and a whole load of pearls. Around 10,000 to be exact. Glittering crystals, embroidered roses and a star-patterned train also featured – the latter a rather modern feature for a bride in the 40s.

The train is said to have been inspired by Bottielli’s painting of Primavera from 1482 and covered in delicate floral designs.

According to the Royal Collection Trust, it was meant to symbolise “rebirth and growth” in Britain after the war.

But the team was rewarded. The seamstresses were given a prime spot outside Buckingham Palace on the day of the wedding, so they could see their handiwork worn by the woman it was created for.

Despite the then-princess’ royal status, the material had to be purchased with ration vouchers like all other British brides in the post-war days. Engaged women were provided with 200 clothing coupons for their dress.

Women across the UK sent their ration vouchers to the royal bride-to-be to ensure she would have the dress of her dreams. However, it was illegal to give coupons away and the kind donations had to be returned.

Her Majesty, aged 21 at the time, paired the dress with ivory high-heeled, sandal-style shoes designed by Edward Rayne, whose footwear designs were also favourited by Hollywood legends Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor.

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